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Recruitment and Selection
Recruitment of PDFs can take place through recommendation by a faculty member at another university, through networking at conferences, by awarding of a fellowship through a granting agency, or by advertising in appropriate journals, newspapers and websites. When recruiting PDFs, faculty members must adhere to relevant policies.
Normally, a faculty member who has funding to support a PDF will conduct the selection process personally, or with other faculty members if there is joint funding for the position. Fellowships funded by external agencies are awarded through an adjudication process established by the external agency. The Dean of Graduate Studies shall be notified at the time of application of all such external PDF ventures.

All PDFs will receive a letter of appointment. The letter is issued by the appropriate Dean or Director, following a recommendation by the appropriate Department Head where applicable. The letter will be copied to the Department of Human Resources, the Department Head, the supervisor(s), the Dean of Graduate Studies, and the Vice-President (Academic). The letter will specify:

  • the title Postdoctoral Fellow
  • the term of appointment as a PDF including beginning and end dates
  • salary arrangements
  • all sources of funding
  • the nature of the research to be undertaken
  • the amount of teaching, if any
  • for international PDFs, health insurance at current cost
  • requirement for formal annual evaluation
  • any special conditions

A copy of the Postdoctoral Fellows policy must be included with the letter of appointment.

A PDF will be associated with one or more faculty colleagues for the purpose of research collaboration. The supervisor may be responsible for the direct financial resources required in support of research activities, as well as primary mentoring of research and professional activities. Departmental resources and responsibilities vary. The University provides basic services in support of research and collegial interaction.

International PDFs apply for admission to Canada at the Canadian Embassy/Consulate in their country, once they have received the letter of appointment from the Dean or Director.

Upon arrival in Canada, the PDF applies for a social insurance number. As individuals entering Canada on work permits, PDFs do not qualify for Landed Immigrant Status.

The supervisor is responsible for orientation to the worksite and introduction to appropriate departmental personnel and policy. The supervisor should also provide information about performance expectations, standards for work hours, safety procedures, and ethical/scholarly integrity issues, mindful of university guidelines as they exist.

PDFs may be funded from external awards, by University endowment or operating funds, by payments from grants or contracts held by faculty, or from a combination of sources.

Salary ranges for PDFs may be governed by the regulations of granting agencies. For current information, contact the School of Graduate Studies. Where no specific salary is mandated, the PDF's compensation is established by the grant-holder following consultation with the PDF and approval by the Head. When teaching is included in the duties, any corresponding part of the compensation must be in accord with appropriate collective agreements, where applicable. At the discretion of the Head and Dean or Director, total compensation may exceed the regulated maximum of a single granting agency, provided that other sources of funding are available and provided additional compensation is not prohibited by the main funding agency. Given the short-term nature of the appointment, salaries are not normally reviewed mid-term.

• Three weeks vacation.
• Statutory holidays following the schedule for faculty members.
• Workers' Compensation Coverage
• Library privileges and internet access equivalent to faculty
• Access to services provided by the Office of Research (i.e. information on research funding sources and review, including negotiation as needed, of research funding arrangements) will be on the same basis as that provided to faculty members.
• MUN Identification Card

Grievances and Complaints
Most problems will be resolved by the supervisor and the PDF. Unresolved problems may be brought in confidence to the attention of the Dean/Director of the Faculty/School. In the case of Arts and Science, the first routing will be the Head of Department. If an issue cannot be resolved by the Department Head, it may be brought in confidence to the attention of the Dean/Director. If not resolved at the Faculty/School level it may be brought to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. In the event of a conflict of interest, e.g., the supervisor is the Department Head, Dean or Director, then a mutually-agreed third party may substitute for the administrator. Ultimate responsibility for resolution of a dispute rests with the Vice-President (Academic). PDFs who are working in a location remote from the department will be informed by the supervisor as to how and to whom a complaint may be directed.

Completion of a research project, presentation of its findings at university seminars and conferences, development of a patentable or licencable product, and preparation of this work for peer-reviewed publication are typical standards of achievement. It is expected that PDFs will be appropriately recognized for their contributions in publications and patents. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to develop a clear understanding of rights and obligations under the University's policies and practices with the PDF at the start of employment.

Supervisors should give reasonable notice, normally three months, to a PDF on the intention to renew or not to renew an appointment.

In the unusual circumstance of the termination of a PDF's contract before its expiry, the termination will be initiated by the supervisor, but will require approval by the Department Head with notification to the Dean or Director and to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and shall include reasons. Notice of one month or payment in lieu of notice will be given. In cases where the PDF holds a Council fellowship, the process will conform to the Council's regulations. Should the PDF elect to terminate the contract, a notice of one month will be given to the supervisor and Department Head.


Policies using this procedure: